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Vargo Triad stove

June 15, 2016 — BarryK
I recently reviewed the Packafeather XL alcohol stove:

Another stove that I have recently purchased is the titanium Vargo Triad stove. Website:

What this stove has going for it is simplicity, very rugged, inbuilt stand, and light (only 28gm). If the legs are pressed into the ground, that should make it more stable.

In my XL review, I mentioned trying to cook brown lentils. As the Triad cannot simmer, it just burns full-on or not at all, I decided to test my Big Sky Insulite Food Pouch. The idea is, bring the food to a boil, then transfer the pot into the food pouch, where it will continue to cook, albeit slower.

Here is everything gathered together, the pouch is on the right:

The method to light the stove, is first to fill it to just above the little hole in the centre, light it, then when it heats up, the nozzles around the perimeter will ignite. This process is called priming the stove.
Some online advice is to hold a flame under the stove for a few seconds to speed up the priming, which I did.

This is what the flame looked like at first:

Then I waited, and waited. It took a very long time before the jets ignited, I didn't time it, should have. Probably a couple of minutes. This is in contrast with the XL, which needed no priming time.

Eventually I had a nicely burning stove:

However, what is not apparent from that photo, but is very apparent when I got down lower and looked in, is there is a lot of yellow in the flame. Yellow is a sign of combustion inefficiency. The XL again outshines, as the flame, with pot on top, was totally blue.

When I took the pot off the Triad, the flame was almost totally yellow:

I put the pot into the Insulite pouch, then, as I didn't know how to extinguish the stove, I just watched it until it burnt out.
There is a way to extinguish it, but it doesn't look easy.

Does completing the cooking in the pouch work? Yes and no. I left the pot in the pouch for 1.5 hours and was surprised how hot it stayed. But, that duration was not enough, I put the pot back on a flame for another 10 minutes, then it was soft enough to my liking.

The brown lentils I used are very large. I just happened to have them in the kitchen cupboard. I think that I should have use French Style brown lentils, as they are much smaller (these are grown in Canada, are very tasty, and are sold in Coles).
I'll try the French Style next, see if I can get that cooking time down.

Here is the pouch, with pot in it:

I like the idea of the Insulite pouch. I am thinking that I should have another pot, so that I can boil water, or heat something else, while waiting for the main dish to complete cooking.

Back on the Triad. Well, it does have some things in its favour, as I itemised at the beginning of this post. It doesn't compare well against the XL though.

What I dislike about the Triad is the long priming time, no ability to adjust the flame, inefficient combustion, inability to put in only the amount of fuel that you will need, and it seems difficult to extinguish.


I posted about my reviews of the Packafeather XL and the Vargo Triad stoves to this bushwalking forum:

Forum member Canberra Trekker responded with very interesting comments about using the Triad.
He also favours using an insulated pouch to complete the cooking.

Tags: light